Disturbing video of a 4-year-old boy cocking a rifle goes viral

Mimi Launder
Wednesday 09 May 2018 12:30
Viral

A video of a four-year-old boy cocking a rifle with disturbing ease is going viral, sparking outrage and debate on its way.

Kendall Jones, a former Texan cheerleader and gun enthusiast, attended a recent National Rifle Association (NRA) event in Texas and shared the footage on Twitter.

Jones, who is known for having sparked worldwide backlash after posing with a smile next to a recently shot dead lion, captioned the video:

This video is INCREDIBLE!! Parenting done RIGHT

She approaches the young boy, named only as Maverick, playing with a rifle and asks him to "show me what you can do with the gun". Grinning, he rapidly loads the gun and changes the magazine.

The video has amassed more than 17 million views at the time of writing - and has drawn fierce criticism.

The ready availability of guns means that toddlers kill more people than terrorists in the US, as some people rightly pointed out.

Fact checking website Snopes, The Independent, the Guardian, and Mic have all reported over the past three years that armed toddlers have been responsible for more deaths in the United States than terrorists.

In fact, in 2015, The Independent reported that armed toddler related deaths were so frequent they were happening almost once a week.

Others lamented the deadly danger of a young child treating a gun like a toy.

And argued that the video is an example parenting done wrong, not right.

What's more, the footage may demonstrate double standard when it comes to race.

This Muslim woman, who has never touched a gun, says she is branded as a terrorist simply because of her religion.

Others echoed similar sentiments.

Muslims increasingly face hate speech, simply for their religion: a 2017 Pew Research Center analysis, using FBI statistics, found assaults on Muslims have “easily surpassed” post-9/11 levels.

Meanwhile white mass shooters - such as the gunman behind the Las Vegas massacre that killed 58 people - get away with the 'lone wolf' label, which has been said to perpetuate a double standard and white privilege.

Analysis by Quartz of 141 hour of cable news revealed that white people were rarely described as radicalised individuals and "terrorism" was mentioned four times more frequently in mass shootings involving non-white killers

Yet it is white men who make up the largest percentage of gun owners, with about half (48 per cent) saying they owned a gun, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

In comparison, about a quarter of white women and non-white men (24 per cent each) and 16 per cent of non-white women are gun owners.

Meanwhile, gun violence in the US has been found to disproportionately kill black people, though they own fewer guns.

Within American cities, black people are, on average, eight times more likely to be killed by firearms than those who are white.

There are also huge disparities in how US police use force and kill a disproportionate number of black people, according to a Vox analysis of FBI data

This structural racism has culminated in countless tragedies - one of these is the death of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old black boy shot for nothing more than holding a toy gun that looked like a real gun.

The police officer who shot Rice in 2014 was dismissed three years later - but Cleveland director of public safety Michael McGrath confirmed it was due to inaccuracies on his job application, rather than the shooting.

White mass shooters are called 'lone wolves' and white boys holding guns 'adorable', yet a passive Muslim is in danger of facing hate speech and a young black boy with a toy gun is at risk of getting shot.

As Childish Gambino says - this is America.

More: Man sums up America's gun problem in one tweet

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